"My artwork honors the sacrifices and celebrates the accomplishments of my grandparents and parents, refugees who migrated globally, settling and creating communities with mixed traditions. As the granddaughter of North Korean refugees on my mother’s side and a Franco Spanish refugee grandfather on my father’s side, I come from a long line of ancestors who fled from persecution. My parents came to the US undocumented to flee military dictatorships in Uruguay (my father) and Argentina (my Korean-born mother). My paintings reflect this multi-layered, complex family history of tragedy and triumph, which has inculcated in me a sense of the fragile nature of life. This allows me to see the beauty and joy in everyday occurrences and objects that are often taken for granted. Therefore, I paint ordinary plants, figures, and conventional objects as vibrant, colorful, and patterned scenes. My paintings are intensely fractured. Oddly placed blocks of illusionistic and abstracted imagery, as well as flattened and textured forms, come together through composition and color palette. This represents the many layers of my identity and the intersection of my ethnicities, cultures, religions, and traditions. Growing up, I received quizzical looks as individuals attempted to understand and piece together my varied backgrounds. I recreate that same experience by provoking the audience to work to find connections in my multi-panel paintings. By highlighting success stories of immigrants and their blended families, I confront prejudicial narratives and refocus attention on human resilience, accomplishment, and power. "
Jennifer Lugris's award-winning work has been exhibited and published internationally. Solo exhibitions include Verge Center for the Arts, Richmond Art Center, Merced College, and Maturango Museum, among others. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Art, Design & Architecture Museum in Santa Barbara, CA and as a mural installation for the Meta Open Arts artist-in-residence program in San Francisco, CA. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is Chair of the Sierra College Art Department and currently lives in Sacramento, CA with her family, dogs, and cats. For Lugris’s full CV click the link below.